Early in December, a senior official from the Department of Justice was suddenly demoted. The man was Bruce Ohr and he was dual-hatted. He was associate deputy attorney general–which means he reported directly to Rod Rosenstein–and at the same time he was head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). Keep that latter position in mind for later. (As an aside, if you want to know the hierarchy of positions in a federal agency, read this.)
We don’t know why he was fired but it was revealed that shortly after the 2016 election, Ohr met with Glenn Simpson, one of the principals of Fusion GPS, too discuss the Trump dossier. His wife, coincidentally, a Russia specialist and one-time think-tank employee who worked on at least one CIA project, was employed by Fusion GPS while the Trump dossier was being assembled. This is, of course, the same Trump dossier that has played ZERO role in a special counsel being appointed. Ohr was demoted from his associate deputy attorney general billet and went back to head the OCDETF full time.
Now he’s no longer doing that.
Now, Ohr has been stripped of that role as well; former deputy director Thomas Padden is now acting director. It is unclear where Ohr has landed, only that he is still an employee with the Department of Justice.
One DOJ insider joked that Ohr might end up in “one of those offices without a phone.”
A couple of key things have happened since his first bump down the ladder that probably have something to do with this. Ohr is one of the witnesses the House Intelligence Committee had subpoenaed and which Justice was refusing to allow to testify. There was a showdown between Paul Ryan and Rod Rosenstein and now Ohr is testifying on January 17. It may very well turn out that Ohr’s contacts with Simpson were more than one meeting.
The second issue is the Project Cassandra story. This, you may recall, was a major operation put together by the DEA to shut down Hezbollah drug smuggling. The Obama Justice Department shut it down because they were afraid of offending Iran, which is Hezbollah’s sponsor. Ohr was a major player in that.